The fight on fake news on the social media platform has dominated the news for a long time now, and as elections are drawing closer, Facebook is trying to stop any form of elections meddling and other types of misinformation on its platform.
While there have been efforts to monitor text contents, tracking contents in images and videos is quite difficult, and that is where the application of Artificial Intelligence comes into play.
Facebook is now expanding its fake news spotting systems to include images and videos. The company has trialled the system successfully in France, India and Mexico and the social media giant is now ready to roll out the system in 17 countries worldwide.
The Artificial Intelligence system feeds potentially fake content to human fact-checkers who uses reverse image search and analyse image metadata to check for authenticity.
Rumour peddlers and malicious groups use images and videos to carry out their deeds since there carry more information, more visually appealing and harder to track using the text and link verification software.
Facebook who has been testing the image fact-checks system for a while now is collaborating with 27 facts -checking organisations in 17 countries to verify flagged contents.
Antonia Woodford, product manager at Facebook, said: ‘People share millions of photos and videos on Facebook every day.
‘We know that this kind of sharing is particularly compelling because it’s visual.
‘It also creates an easy opportunity for manipulation by bad actors.
‘We have built a machine learning model that uses various engagement signals, including feedback from people on Facebook, to identify potentially false content.
‘We then send those photos and videos to fact-checkers for their review, or fact-checkers can surface content on their own.’
‘As we get more ratings from fact-checkers on photos and videos, we will be able to improve the accuracy of our machine learning model,’ Ms Woodford said.
‘We are also leveraging other technologies to better recognise false or misleading content.
‘For example, we use optical character recognition (OCR) to extract text from photos and compare that text to headlines from fact-checkers’ articles.
‘We are also working on new ways to detect if a photo or video has been manipulated.’
Facebook fact-checkers check for three types of fake news spread via images and videos. They include;
i) contents that have been manipulated or fabricated; these contents include visual materials that have been doctered or edited to spread fake news.
ii) out of context;t his includes using original images or videos to make false claims by using them out of context.
iii) media files combined with text and audio to make fake claims.
Zuckerberg claims Facebook is now better prepared to defend against any form of elections meddling on its platform. He also claimed that the platform has also thwarted foreign influence campaigns targeting several countries.
Mark Zuckerberg released a post on steps the social network is taking to prevent misinformation and manipulation campaigns aimed at disrupting elections.
‘My focus in 2018 has been addressing the most important issues facing Facebook — including defending against election interference, better protecting our community from abuse, and making sure people have more control of their information’ he said
‘These are incredibly complex and important problems, and this has been an intense year’
‘We’ve identified and removed fake accounts ahead of elections in France, Germany, Alabama, Mexico, and Brazil.’
‘We’ve found and taken down foreign influence campaigns from Russia and Iran attempting to interfere in the US, UK, Middle East, and elsewhere– as well as groups in Mexico and Brazil that have been active in their own country.’
Zuckerberg also mentioned that in 2016, Facebook was not fully prepared as they were not expecting coordinated operations but now they are making progress.
‘What we didn’t expect were foreign actors launching coordinated information operations with networks of fake accounts spreading division and misinformation. ‘ He said
‘While we’ve made steady progress, we face sophisticated, well-funded adversaries. They won’t give up, and they will keep evolving.’ he added